How Was 2017 For Playgroup

We had a lot of children stay on or started on 3 year funding which meant we were already only getting £13 per session for these children but we filled up with 30 children per day the by summer term with 6 staff and three 1-1 workers for three children who went onto school with statutory assessments (used to be statements). We were charging £20 per session for 2 year olds. SEN workers were paid by inclusion funding.

We paid our staff at least the National Living Wage as of 2014 and had to start the new pension. Our main focus last year was to try and put in place 30 hours to start in September 2017. It was not easy to work out as the government didn’t give any information out until the summer. We had to get all staff on board with extra hours, work out the hours and ask for extension of the hall hire. We had to have a meeting with the hall committee, then the vicar. Then it had to be passed by the Standing Committee and the PCC. We now have a contract until September 2018 of £600 pw for hall hire. The vicar is leaving which may cause changes.

We had no information to tell parents about the 30 hours offer but tried our best to explain what may or may not happen. We asked last year’s committee to be involved but not one came to the meeting so Jo, Kath and myself made the decisions.

We have continued to provide a learning journal for all the children completed by their key person and sent the children’s tracker on to their teacher at the next setting. The staff continue to attend courses every term and last year a focus was made on all staff attending every training on children’s protection. It has got increasingly difficult to let staff attend training with 30 children during the morning and even more difficult this year now we are down to only 6 staff as Clair left and have up to 32 children. There are currently 2 children on the SEN register who will be getting help with SEN advisory team.

Things are looking up I hope for this year as the 3 year funding going up in April and we have put up our fees to £8 per hour. Hopefully parents will take up opportunity for ad hoc extra days or sessions which will make a major difference.

I would like to thank all the staff for their continued hard work, coming together to implement the 30 hours and putting up with low wages. For the first time in years we were unable to make an extra Christmas payment to them.

Thank you to Kath who keeps the books, produces bills, wages, set up the new pension scheme and for keeping the Charity Commission happy.

Thank you also to Ian for volunteering to be treasurer.

Liz Leonard, Supervisor

Expenditure 2016-17 Pie ChartWages are over ¾ of our expenditure and hall hire about 15%. ¾ of our income is through funding and the remainder comes out of fees.

Thanks go to Alison Perkins for being an excellent treasurer and we wish her well.

After two consecutive years with losses of over £5,000 each it is good to be back in profit. Raising fees to £20 per session counteracted the shortfall in government funding and we’ve regrettably raised them again at the end of the year to £24.

We’ve introduced a pension scheme for the staff as required by the government. The costs are modest but will rise over the next few years. All staff have taken advantage of it.

Our lowest paid wage (£9.15) continues to be at the rate of the London Living Wage set in November 2014. It’s currently £10.20 which we cannot afford but well over the national minimum wage of £7.83.

We are now faced with the challenge of providing 30 hours childcare without making a loss.

We currently have two signatories, myself and Ian Humphries, a former parent who has kindly agreed, subject to ratification to be our new treasurer.

Kathleen Richardson, Finance Manager

These reports are taken from the 2017 AGM. The full minutes and accounts for that year can be downloaded as a pdf. Year End 2017